Young chef in finals for scholarship

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A young aspiring chef from Douneside House in Tarland is one of six finalists in the search for the first recipients of the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship.

Joseph Harte (23), a junior sous chef at Douneside House, will join Abbie Clunie (23), Emma-Rose Milligan (23), Jake Hassall (25), Ryan McCutheon (27), and Peter Meechan (22), the youngest of the finalists, in the battle for the prestigious scholarship.

The scholarship was launched in February this year in recognition of Andrew Fairlie’s significant and lasting contribution to the hospitality industry.

It will recognise two outstanding individuals – one male and one female - who are forging ahead with their culinary career and working in Scotland.

Stephen McLaughlin, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie head chef and lead judge, said: “It wasn’t an easy decision, however the final six are all there on merit.

“They were selected for their understanding of the ethos of Andrew Fairlie’s culinary traditions, the essence of this included how they talked about themselves and their culinary ambitions, and how they created their menu.”

The final stage of the competition will take place on October 24 at Gleneagles, where each of the finalists’ skills will be put to the ultimate test.

Judge Gary Maclean, Scotland’s National Chef, added: “The standard is high and we’re looking forward to hearing more from this talented group of young chefs.”

The chosen winners will gain industry-wide recognition as Andrew Fairlie Scholars and experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as a practical stage in an international kitchen, a placement at the Culinary Institute of America and at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles.